A group, Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement (AILM), has described recent allegations of collusion and falsification of election results levelled against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Akwa Ibom State as baseless and misleading.
This is just as the group stressed, that contrary to the allegations of result falsification made by the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Ini Okopido, due process was followed by INEC in collating the Governorship and house of Assembly results.
The Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement (AILM) made this position known in a press briefing held in Uyo on Monday.
Speaking in a media statement entitled “2019 Election Results: APC and its Baseless Allegations”, the leader of the movement, Prince Emmanuel Sam, noted that the APC never expected a smooth procedure, hence their expression of frustration against INEC.
According to him, “contrary to the baseless allegations made by the APC, due process was followed by INEC and results of the governorship/house of assembly were duly collated at polling units, figures announced and relevant party agents signed before moving to Local government collation centres for onward submission at the headquarters.
“Such a smooth and straightforward procedure under the watchful eyes of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barr. Mike Igini, was what the APC never expected hence their expression of frustration against INEC”.
Sam, averred that if APC chieftains were to pause for a while and engage in soul searching, they would come to terms with the fact that there is no need to point accusing finger at either INEC or PDP.
“Because the reality is that, during the election Akwa Ibom people undertook a referendum to reward a party that has brought about life transforming development since 1999 and to consolidate on a sustained peace which Governor Udom Emmanuel has brought to the polity. It is worthy of note that the massive support for the governor’s reelection was across party affiliation, including even members of the main opposition.
“So, rather than sounding like a broken record, we urge the state chairman of APC, Mr. Ini Okopido, to gather evidences of electoral malpractices his party claims to have and approach the election tribunal to seek redress”, he emphasized.
The group, alleged that the APC attempted to use the entire security apparatus of the federal government to wrest power from the people.
“Evidently, all through the campaigns of the All Progressives Congress, APC, its leaders boasted of their plan to use ‘federal might’ to take power by force.
“On election days namely, February 23 and March 9, these threats manifested in parts of the state including Essien Udim, Ikot Ekpene, Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun, Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin, Ibiono Ibom, Itu and others. Known APC stalwarts went about with armed men dressed in security uniforms to cause mayhem, disrupt the electoral process in some polling units and cause other forms of malpractice.
“As if that was not enough, the APC imported armed thugs from Edo and other neighbouring states into Akwa Ibom during the period to create an atmosphere of insecurity perhaps to cause a cancellation of the entire exercise.
“Communities from all ethnic nationalities within the geopolitical area reconnected with each other, uniting with a common objective to stop the attempt to return us back to those dark days of insecurity, impunity and divisive politics”, Sam stressed.
He however lauded Akwa Ibom people for going to God in prayers and engaging a high sense of patriotism to take a stand and vote against the aggressor.